Internet banking leads Rabobank to close branches, cut 3,000 jobs

The reorganisation announced earlier by Rabobank will cost 3,000 jobs over two years, the cooperative bank said on Thursday.

Many of the jobs will go as local branches are closed and the bank’s emphasis switches to internet and smartphone banking. The number of branches will go down ‘substantially’, Rabobank said.

Also on Thursday, the bank published its annual figures, showing the effect of the economic downturn and the problems on the housing market. Rabobank is Dutch mortage market leader.

Profit drop

Group profit fell by 20% to €2.1bn – its lowest level since 2006. Earnings will decline further in 2013, the non-listed bank said.

Rabobank’s property activities posted a loss of €113m, compared with a profit of €31m in the year before.

‘In 2013 it will be difficult to match the performance we delivered in 2012 (excluding the impact of the sale of Robeco),’ Rabobank said in a statement. ‘2013 will be another difficult year with very little economic growth. The outlook for the housing market is better in the long run, but it will take at least until 2014 before we will see true recovery.’

ING said earlier this month it is reducing its workforce by a further 2,400 jobs as online banking takes off.